The Frontrunner of all Green Cities

Copenhagen is making remarkable efforts to be a green city. It is possible for Denmark to inspire other countries to follow in their footsteps, leaving behind a green world for all.

By Farrah Walton, Martha Kiriakou and Andreas Friis

Photo by Martha Kyriakou. Wind turbines in Copenhagen.

In October 2019, Cities100 came out. Cities100 is a report that collects the 100 best climate initiatives currently in function, and on the list are huge cities like London, Hong Kong, New York and New Delhi, but the people behind the report have also found some interesting green initiatives in Copenhagen.

Taking a walk in the city, it is easy to see why Copenhagen has caught the eye of Cities100. You can rent a solar powered boat made from wood from sustainable sources to take you through the canals, all buses are switching to electrical motors and even on the gourmet scene, Copenhagen is representing the green wave with restaurant Geranium being the only all-organic three starred Michelin restaurant in the world.

Copenhagen is mentioned in Cities100 not once, but twice, and that especially is something we can be proud of, according to Jesper Nygård, president of Realdania who is one of the organizations behind the report.

“It shows that we are headed in the right direction in Denmark,” says Jesper Nygård.

According to the publishers behind Cities100, the goal is to inspire other cities to strive towards living up to the terms set in the Paris-agreement, and the inspiration must come from the cities themselves.

“Many cities have come far, and good examples as well as national and international cooperation, is what is needed to make the cities reach the goal of living up to the Paris-agreement,” Jesper Nygård adds.

A Network of Green

Photo by Martha Kyriakou. One of the green parks in Copenhagen.

One of the things that companies in Copenhagen does well is share ideas and cooperate on green initiatives. When it comes to green networks, Go Green Denmark is one of the frontrunners. They define themselves as a movement and network of companies, that combines business with social responsibility.

“Go Green was put in this world to make it easier to shop green. No matter where you live, you should be able to have an overview of organic cafés and restaurants, shops with sustainable clothing, green hotels and transport options,” says Pia Rathsach, founder of Go Green Denmark, to Sustaindaily.

She firmly believes that companies should aim to inspire each other to be even more green, and that information and ideas have to be free and available.

“Go Green is the network of sustainable companies, and together we can strengthen green businesses for the individual, for the community and not least for the companies that want to move in a greener direction,” says Pia Rathsach.

Inspiration is Possible

Photo by Martha Kyriakou. Copenhill, a waste-to-energy plant.

When it comes to the question of cities actually inspiring each other, it is hard to measure the effect. Swedish journalist and lecturer in European studies at the Danish School of Media and Journalism Erik Staffan Dahllöf however states, that an effect is possible.

“To a certain extent, smaller places like Copenhagen can influence other places across the world. If they can present concrete examples, it is possible to inspire across borders. Whatever Copenhagen can point at, as long as it is concrete,” says Erik Staffan Dahllöf

The message though has to be aimed internationally and not just nationally, and what is believed locally might not be the reality in other places.

“Denmark for example has an idea they want to share, that they are the green front runner in the world. There are other versions of that,” adds Erik Staffan Dahllöff.

This story is written for an audience in Europe. It could be published on